You know, memoirs are not usually my thing. But thanks to a reader's suggestion (big thanks, Donna Trump), today's #twitterviews highlights Minnesotan memoirist, Rachel Hanel. Her first book (available from Minnesota Press) is We'll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down: Memoir of a Gravedigger's Daughter. The book is Hanel's account (through a series of semi-connected personal essays) of growing up as the daughter of Digger O'Dell, small town gravedigger. Of course, Digger O'Dell was not his real name. It was a persona he took on. And if the fact that this book focuses on a small town where gravediggers take on personas doesn't make you want to read it, well, then I'm not sure what to tell you.
Question 1: What's your favorite kind of tombstone?
Question 2: How did being a self-described "student of death" influence your writing?
Question 3: Which moments of your memoir were the most cathartic?
Question 4: Do you have a novel in you that we can expect to see?
Question 5: Share with us something about the burial process we don't already know?
Rachel Hanel lives just outside of Mankato, Minnesota, where the winters are cold and the writers are talented. She teaches Mass Media at Minnesota State University, where we can all hope she is steadily building up some material for a second book. We'll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down is available now. Check it out.
"Other people's stories fascinated me."